Tribune News Service
Jalandhar, October 22
The stage is set for the inauguration of the 38th edition of the Surjit Hockey Tournament, starting here at local Army AstroTurf hockey ground, Katoch Stadium, Jalandhar Cantonment.
Organising Secretary IS Sandhu said the 38th edition of the tournament would be played on league-cum-knockout basis. “This year, all12 teams have been seeded directly into quarterfinal league stage and are divided into four pools with three teams each. The top four teams from each pool will qualify for the semifinals, scheduled to be held on October 30. No gate entry money will be charged from the spectators who will come to witness the game of hockey,” he explained.
Sandhu further said that last year’s champion Punjab & Sind Bank, Delhi, and runners-up team Indian Oil, Mumbai, along with 10 other top teams — Indian Army, Delhi, Indian Navy Mumbai, Indian Railways, CAG, Delhi, Indian Air Force Delhi, CRPF, Delhi, Punjab Police, Punjab National Bank, Delhi, BSF Jalandhar and RCF, Kapurthala, of the country will take part in these nine-day hockey tournament. Arrangements have been made for the live telecast of both the semi-finals and final match of the tournament on PTC News and PTC Gold Channels on October 30 and 31, respectively. All India Radio, Jalandhar will also relay the ‘Ball-to-Ball’ running commentary of the final match, Sandhu added.
USA-based sports promoters Gakhal Brothers — Amolak Singh Gakhal, Palwinder Singh Gakhal, and Iqbal Singh — will give a cash prize of Rs 5 lakh to the champion team of the tournament like last year whereas the runner-up team will be given a cash prize of Rs 2 lakh by Sant Tarminder Singh of Kahna Dhesian dera in Jalandhar. As in the past, the best player of the tournament will get Mohinder Singh Tut Memorial Award along with a cash prize of Rs 51,000, sponsored by Ranbir Singh Rana Tut.
Former champion Punjab Police will face Rail Coach Factory, Kapurthala, in the inaugural match of the day at 3 pm. The tournament is organised every year by the Surjit Hockey Society to keep alive the name of ex-Olympian Surjit Singh Randhawa, who lost his life in a fatal car accident near Jalandhar on January 7, 1984, while fighting hard for upliftment of the national game of hockey in the country.
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